Listening Deeply

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I wanted to check in after being silent for some time. It’s not that I haven’t been writing but my focus has shifted to a possible book. It is predicated upon all the work that I did first in death midwifery and now with the Community of Spirits. The idea ignited right around the winter solstice and has been going like gangbusters since. It is a project that, if it comes to fruition, will take a long time…so I wanted to check in and just connect with you.

I won’t speak of the topic. When I was a member of a Western Mystery school, when inspiration is hot, it is suggested to keep the vessel, the inspiration, tightly sealed, keeping things hot, holding the tension, allowing no leakage and therefore no weakening of the inspiration during the creative process. Writing is a fragile thing: it needs protection during its earlier stages. So I hope you will understand.

However, I would like to comment on something I am discovering about this particular process. In my journey to cross the threshold to the world of the “so-called living and the so-called dead” as Rudolf Steiner would language it, I have experimented with many different techniques: mediumship, the psychomanteum, the use of various brainwave entrainment music and various deep states of meditation. I’ve learned something from all of them.

Yet now…I find myself leaving all that behind and just sitting very silently and regularly, breathing deeply…and….listening. Just…listening. Then trusting what comes to me as having value. The source of this information, this dialogue? I am not sure. I do not know if I will reach a place when I do know for sure. Or perhaps the best attitude to take is that of a true skeptic as Dr. Raymond Moody would suggest. He told me that the classical skeptic never reaches a conclusion for to do that closes yourself off from any other possibilities. With your eye firmly on a conclusion you ignore your peripheral vision and therefore can miss miraculous things. That would be a great loss.

So…quietly I sit…listening more and more deeply as I sink down layer upon layer of…what? Mind stuff? The Higher Self? The Enlightened Dead? Yes to all? No to all? It is far too early in the process for me to tell if I ever will. But one thing I know is this: when I reach that place of connection with whatever this is, and we converse…it feels so beautiful…so loving…so safe. So…I must trust that there is purpose to this venture, that it will in some way serve.

I wanted to share that in the hopes that even this little bit of discovery might serve you…and just to connect with you for a bit…you who choose to read my little ramblings.

Thank you.

 

OMTimes Radio Interview

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Here is a link to the radio show I did with Allaya Frisch this past Sunday. I really enjoyed talking with her and the time did, as she promised, fly by. However, she is a great supporter of my work and I think it is very likely we’ll get together again to talk more about the Community of Spirits and my work with Dr. Raymond Moody. Be sure to scroll to the bottom where the comments section is. That is where all my contact info is placed. I hope you will share.

A Brief View of Mediumship

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(Continuing the test of brainwave entrainment, I am listening to Lambda frequency while writing this.)

Before I delve deeply into the work of Rudolf Steiner as a seeding and inspiration for the foundation of the Community of Spirits, I wish to share a bit with you about my beginning studies into Mental Mediumship.

From both Steiner and my Kabbalistic background, there are great proscriptions against the use of mediumship as a means of speaking with the dead. Blending one’s energy with the dead was considered black magic by Paul Foster Case, a great adept of the Hermetic Kabbalah. Steiner was very against all forms a physical mediumship as it is, to him, the height of materialism to demand that the spirit world conform to the physical world’s limitations. Also, any form of mediumship, such as deep trance, where one sets aside her conscious mind and allows the discarnate to take over, was considered very dangerous and not to be used. As I have great respect for both teachers, I entered my beginning exploration into mental mediumship very cautiously. Why explore it at all? Because I am an inquisitive person. I will conduct the experiment myself and come to my own conclusions. Is there anything of value that we can use from mental mediumship in our conversation with the dead? So…I am sort of a crash test dummy on all this which I will then report back to you for your consideration.

For the past 18 months or so, I have studied with and read many different books on mediumship. To be fair, 18 months is not a long time to develop the skills of a medium, if they can be developed at all by one such as me who makes no claims to innate abilities for mediumship. That very point is debated in the mediumship community quite a bit. Some believe anyone can develop a certain degree of proficiency while others insist you must be born a medium, they are not made. (Interestingly, one such medium has no problem offering classes in mediumship with no vetting process at all. You pay, you play.) I’ve also engaged several mediums for readings. I will not name names good or bad so I can speak freely about my experiences.

The readings I’ve received have ranged from abysmal, to strange, to pretty good, to startlingly good (though I have some reservations about that one). You see, one of the mediums that I think of very highly, whose knowledge, experience and integrity are to me of the highest caliber, and with whom I chose to mentor with for a while, assigned me to read a book by Lamar Keene, “Psychic Mafia,” as a cautionary tale. The book made me physically ill to read. The corruption of spirit, the vile betrayal of people in deep mourning, the outright thievery and at times prostitution of these so-called mediums casts such a dark shadow on the whole field, that it is hard for me to put much faith in 99% for what passes as mediumship. My apologies to those honest and true mediums but I am sure you can understand and even share my outrage.

One of the easiest ways to play fast and loose is to keep files on clients and share then among other mediums worldwide. My mentor insists that practice is still used today. Now add to that phone readings and the internet and quickly one can see how easy it is for any less the honest “medium” to have all kinds of information at his fingertips.

Nevertheless, I wanted to study this form of communication to see if I can develop any ability at all to talk to the dead at will. Along with the mentoring, I took several local workshops and online classes. Not bad. Then I took a very expensive class from one of the top mediums in the field today. It is a good class, though truly too expensive with all the kinks of a new endeavor to work out. One of the final assignments was to do a platform reading with total strangers. That was almost a deal breaker for me as I never intend to do readings for people of any kind let alone up on a stage with a group of people. You gotta be kidding, right? I almost gave up right there; my stomach was in so many knots. However, with the help and encouragement of a dear friend who offered to host a small group at her home, I went ahead with it.

Using most of the techniques suggested by this teacher, I actually was able to connect with the paternal grandfather of a gentleman in the group. I rattled off all kinds of info about this grandfather. When I finally lost the connection, I opened my eyes, expecting to see the man shaking his head “no” with pity in his eyes. Instead I saw a man shaking his head “yes” with tears in his eyes. I had in fact described his paternal grandfather almost perfectly and his coming through was especially meaningful as this man was going to India to meet with members of his paternal grandfather’s family he had not seen in years.

So, I can say even from my beginning experiments in mental mediumship, it is possible, with time and dedication, to develop some skill in communicating with the dead in this way. But still, I have reservations.

With the exception of one medium, everyone I have read or studied with personally insists that there is no possibility of connecting with any type of dark forces. They insist that there is only good in the spiritual world; evil is human made and “like attracts like.” That aligns with much of the New Age community’s thoughts on this. But the Kabbalah and Steiner (and heck even the bible) suggests otherwise; that assuming only Light in the spiritual world is naïve and dangerous. I tend to agree with that. As far as “like attracting like,” while our outward persona may be kind and congenial, none of us knows for certain what lurks in our subconscious…that’s why it called the subconscious. What little signals might we be putting out that we are totally unaware of? I speak lightly but truly, this is something to be very concerned about. So my caution may be a parting point for those of you who cannot conceive of the need to be wise as a serpent when venturing into the supersensible worlds. I will respect that and bide you adieu. I will not, as was suggested by the superstar medium, “blend” my energy with any and all discarnate beings that choose to enter my field.

Another problem I have with some of the mediums as well as other metaphysical teachers of intuition I have studied with is the idea of “power.” “Get into your power. Own your power. Feel your power. Power. Power. Power.” To say that to an uninitiated, possibly uneducated, unknown group, without clearly defining what they mean by that (if they know what they mean by that), to me is irresponsible. Those teachers will also bear the karma, the responsibility, for whatever happens to their students from acting upon that advice.

I’ve studied the Kabbalah too long and have done too many years of Jungian analysis to bandy about that admonition without being very, very clear where that Power originates and one’s proper alignment to it. All power originates with the Divine (in whatever way you define that). It is only when our small personality is completely subservient to the will of the Divine, that any Power may flow though us. It is not our power; we are merely conduits for it to flow. “Not my will but Thine be done,” or having the Ego/Self axis in proper relationship….the small self subservient to the Higher Self. Unfortunately, and I see this all over the place, people’s small selves, often referred to as “ego” (oh there’s another problem – we need a strong healthy ego to live in this world. Ego is not bad…but an unhealthy or damaged ego needs healing) becomes inflated (oh there’s those years of Jungian analysis again) feeling itself omnipotent. That can lead to all kinds of delusions and bad behavior…the wreckage of which I see strewn about the New Age community all the time. So I am very cautious around teachers’ who adjure their students to “Own their power,” without clearly defining where that Power comes from and one’s relationship to it.

As far as mental mediumship goes, I feel that for myself, I have studied enough and gathered together enough material, should I feel it needed, to develop my skills. Basically…I feel the energy for the study waning. There may be a place in the Community of Spirits for some of its techniques to be of use, I am not sure. And certainly those who are true mediums are welcome as part of our community. But I am now going to focus on Rudolf Steiner’s work for communicating with the dead. (There are some other interesting avenues I will also pursue and report on…but not just yet.) I’ve done my best to gather everything I can find that Steiner wrote or spoke about concerning the dead, our service to them, our work with them, together and have read them though at least once. New discoveries keep turning up and I add them to my study. Soon I will begin suggesting some reading for those interested and comment on what I’ve read.

Ultimately all this is a seeding of the subconscious field. I want to plant the best seeds then see what new, original work sprouts forth. Work that will take Steiner’s work forward into the 21st century but also evolve as it grows. I am sure he would want that.

The difference between this venture and the one I took with death midwifery is that you are watching the entire creative process, ragged seams and all unfold, and not presented with the shiny finished product of 18 years of work. It’s a far more vulnerable place for me, but I am guided to do this in this way now. Bear with me as we grow together.

(By the way, Lambda is far easier and kinder to write to than Epsilon. I highly recommend trying it.)

The Mission of the Community of Spirits (or What’s it All About, Alfie?)

As a preface, as referenced in my last blog, “Dialing in the Dying and the Dead,” I write this while listening to a recording of a brainwave entrainment of Epsilon, the lowest brainwave frequency we currently know. I find this frequency extraordinarily soothing as I feel my brain literally slowing down.

It seems time for me to enunciate, as best as I am able, the mission of the Community of Spirits and the direction it is leading. Please understand that this is being revealed to me step by step. I do not know where all this will ultimately lead. Normally, I do not begin something without a clear vision of where it will ultimately end, but this time, I am urged to move forward and trust that the next right step will be given to me at the right time. Perhaps it is the urgency so many of us feel about the times we live in, feeling that we are at a tipping point. That we do not have the luxury of being certain what shape our service will take or where it will lead, only trusting that our inner guidance will correctly steer us as bearers of the Light….because it is imperative that we step out of our comfort zone and stand at the leading edge. Life as we know it requires this of us now.

With that said, I’ll take a deep breath, and begin…

First let me tell you what the Community of Spirits is not. It is not here to convince or convert anyone to a belief in the afterlife. It is based on a knowing that consciousness exists beyond the physical transformation we call death. There are many organizations and individuals that are dedicated to presenting that evidence to the uncertain but that is not our purpose. We take that knowing as a baseline and grow from there. However by becoming a member of the Community of Spirits, your conviction of an afterlife may strengthen and gain more clarity.

Though I am experimenting with a few modalities for entering the unseen world, this community is strongly based on the works of Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy. Steiner was not infallible nor are his methods and techniques the only way of accessing the inner planes. And in no way do I claim to be a Steiner scholar. Far from it. However, at this time, I have been guided to and deeply connected with his work and its relevancy for the Western psyche. So that is where the focus of this community will reside. Clearly articulated, I hope to draw those in resonance with this method to us. As time goes on, I will reference many of his works on death, life between death and rebirth and destiny, writing about them as a way to lay the foundation for and clarification of where we are heading. So, though I have great respect for the other paths of service to the dead, this community will not focus on them.

Now for what the Community is. I share this now, as it is, I think, a pivotal point of work for the Community of Spirits to engage. Steiner suggests that the so-called living and the so-called dead should be conversant with each other. He believed that the so-called living could do great service for the so-called dead, which we will explore. He also believed that the so-called dead can aid the evolvement of life on earth. Long ago there was an easy dialogue between the two worlds which was lost as man developed self-consciousness. It was a very necessary step but now accomplished, it is imperative that we re-establish the connection with the unseen worlds with this consciousness fully intact.

With no disrespect meant to those born with natural psychic and/or mediumistic abilities, Steiner actually felt that was an unfortunate throwback to an earlier stage of human evolution. He believed the best way to access the unseen world was to learn through discipline, practice and training. So…that is where I come in, having no natural abilities of that kind (though I am highly sensitive and empathic), I will, through studying his techniques and practices, along with a couple of other modalities, see if I can successfully develop what Steiner calls clairvoyant consciousness. I’ll report what does and does not work for me and make suggestions for you to consider. (I can tell you that even now, I have taken baby steps in that direction with positive results.)

Another major part of the work of the Community of Spirits is based on the following Steiner theory. He posits that at this point in human evolution it is not possible to actualize 100% of our potential. We simply do not have the “organs” required for that fully developed at this time. So we all die without fully reaching our potential. We take that unrealized potential with us when we cross the threshold we call death.

Now, while we can’t fully realize our own potential while incarnated, Steiner contends that we can act as conduits for the unrealized potential of the dead to flow through us to the physical plane, for the benefit and evolvement of all. That is a task we will seek clarity on and take up as an act of service. There is much I will need to learn about this process, how it will look, how to do it safely, etc. That is yet to be revealed but I put it out as the overall direction we will take in time.

I am also learning as much as I can about social media and ways for us to connect through cyberspace as I hope this community to be international in scope. That’s a big learning curve for me as I am not technically savvy…but what the heck…just another step out of my comfort zone. I’m starting to get used to it.

Well…I think that is enough to get us started. Your thoughts and support are always appreciated. (Oh…by the way…it gets…quite…spacey…writing in…Epsilon. Don’t overdo it or re-entry to Beta might be a bit…uncomfortable.) Until next time…

Dialing in the Dying and the Dead

brainwave  Today I’ll begin a discussion on my experience communicating with the dying in unresponsive states or coma and my beginning experiences of communicating with the dead. While I have a good bit of experience with the one, I am relatively new to the other. These are my theories as of now which may very well change as I gain experience communing with the dead. But I want to lay out the beginning groundwork and we’ll see where it leads over time.

In my time communing with the dying, those either unable to respond in a recognizable way to the medical community or those in actual coma, I became somewhat fluent in the various brainwaves states we travel through on a daily basis. There are many great sites on the internet to describe them…but I will give you this one as it lists some of the “newer” discoveries; that of Lambda and Epsilon. (Please understand I am not endorsing the company nor its products. I just find their guide useful.)

What I found in my work as a death midwife was that, after preparing myself though meditation, ritual work and prayer, creating sacred space for and given sufficient time with a patient alone, I could connect with that patient and feel where on the brainwave frequency scale he or she was. Often they would be somewhere near the middle to lower ranges of theta or, in the case of coma, delta.

With enough time, slowing my breath to match my patient’s, emptying my mind and riding the wave; I could “find” them. Please understand the communication I received was not like sitting at Starbucks and chatting over a latte. However, I often received feelings, impressions and even bits of information. For example, I was with a very elderly gentleman once. Normally with someone of that age, out of respect, I would address him as Mr. Whatever-his-name-was. But for some reason, I knew in this instance that would be wrong. So I called him by his first name. Later when his young friend came to visit, she told me, without my asking, that this man never liked to be called “Mr.” He only wanted to be addressed by his first name.

There was one of the most beautiful interactions I ever had on the palliative care unit of Norfolk General Hospital with a very young woman in her early 20’s who was dying of terminal breast cancer. I was informed at the staff meeting that her mother had for all intents and purposes abandoned her and she had no one. With time and care, I established a deep connection with this young woman. Being old enough to be her mother, we formed a bond that staggers me to this day. Her need for a mother was so intense, so deep, that she psychically embraced me as such. With very minimal touch, which she telepathically granted my permission to make, I cradled her etherically, poured love into her and she, a thirsty sponge, soaked it up and up until I thought we might both burst from the intensity of the love shared. I spent as many hours with her as I could and when it became necessary to release the bond, I communicated the need to her again telepathically. She, in turn, made it very clear she didn’t want me to go and curled into a fetal position. It tore me up to leave her.

Coma patients I find to be a bit different. First, being able to stay awake while matching them in a delta frequency is no mean feat. What I found is that feelings and any snippets of words and such disappeared. What I received were symbols, fleeting images that I was tasked with ascribing meaning. What did those images, those symbols, mean to me? From there I might understand what they wanted to say.

So…with the dying…in my experience, slower and slower brainwave frequencies are accessed. But what happens when the body dies and the mind is no longer tied to the brain? What happens when consciousness is freed?

I’ll share my few experiences thus far on that. The first experience was at the bedside of my friend as he died. My very first experience being with someone as he crossed the threshold of death. I go into greater detail about this in my book but I felt him break loose of his body as his spirit passed through my hand (we were holding hands at the time so that was our only point of physical contact). I felt an electrical vibration, like millions of bees buzzing in my hand. The energy, which had been slowing down and down as he approached death, now ignited into something very high and euphoric. And I heard him, felt him, saying over and over, “Goodbye Joellyn. I love you. Thank you. Goodbye Joellyn. I love you. Thank you.”

The striking thing was the sense of moving from a very low brainwave frequency almost instantaneously to a frequency so high and unfettered by the brain it is nearly shattering. It reminds me of the reports of the Tibetans in their Book of the Dead where they speak of the newly dead travelling at very high rates of velocity, shooting through space to the accompaniment of the sounds of gongs and bells. I had an experience approximating that doing a particularly advanced form of extended pranayama. I actually felt I experienced a dress rehearsal for my death. I’ll never again experiment with that particular pranayama without a spotter for I surely thought I was dying!

There were many after death experiences with my friend that I wrote of in my book which faded over a period of about two years. Those are of a different nature and vibration than what I have so far encountered in my formal study of mental mediumship. They were spontaneous, unbidden and seemed to interject themselves into my normal waking state of consciousness. All the mediums I have studied with thus far agree that one has to raise one’s vibration in order to formally speak to the dead as mediums do in their sessions. The dead must lower their vibrations while we raise ours…meeting in the medium range…and hence the term medium.

In order to become certified by the James Van Praagh School of Mystical Arts in mediumship (please note the certification merely means you have successfully completed his course, not that he is certifying you as a medium…something some are already claiming unfortunately), I had to do what amounts to a platform reading for some strangers. Oh…so not what I wanted to do! But, knees shaking, I went ahead with it and using his techniques, I was able to raise my vibration high enough to make contact with a gentlemen’s deceased paternal grandfather, giving him lots of accurate detail before I lost the connection.

James describes it like this – imagine you are dog paddling in the middle of a lake. You paddle and paddle trying to keep your head above water. How much strength, how much muscle you have, determines how long you can keep your head up. As you tire, your nose dips under the wave. So it is with mental mediumship, as you tire, the vibration lowers and you lose the connection. This is very different with the dead than with the dying for I was able to maintain those lower frequencies for very long periods of time with ease.

So now my question is – what frequencies of vibrations are available to access for those without the limitations of the brain? Perhaps those of us still in the physical will be confined to those frequencies on the chart I provided…and yet…Lambda and Epsilon are more recently discovered. Can we keep pushing the boundaries and at least, for a time, step out of the confines of our brains to experience pure consciousness as do the dead and the angelic hierarchies? Somewhere beyond Epsilon or perhaps Hyper-Lambda? Is this what Rudolf Steiner is suggesting is our goal as we evolve ever upward? As I will keep reminding you, this is a work in progress as I meditate and seek guidance from my inner teachers. I am travelling out on the edge…and invite you to join me as we explore this together. I for one will be experimenting with the Lambda frequency as a means to come closer to the realm of the dead and the angelic hierarchies.

Please feel free to post your thoughts below. We are a community of spirits so let us begin a respectful dialogue.